Indian Basketball Fans organised an online fans interaction session to bid adieu to former India Basketball captain Murali Krishna Ravindran, who recently announced his retirement from international circuit.
Murali Krishna talking about his retirement decision said, “That he has been struggling with a knee injury for quite some time and since there has been no major progress in the injury he decided to hang his boots.” Further talking about future prospects, he said, “it will be difficult for him to bid adieu to the sport immediately and therefore if his injury would permit, he would continue to play in domestic tournaments and league.”
“I am also looking to taking up my role as the assistant coach for the ONGC basketball team,” Murali said.
When quizzed about ONGC’s role in building basketball in India Murali said, “ONGC’s role is not just limited to basketball in fact ONGC has played a major role in developing sports in India. It is an organistaion which has the best sport infrastructure and facilities and they take good care of each and every player. Had it not been for ONGC I think I would have never made it to the top league.”
Further revealing about his aim to how to give back to the game which gave him everything Murali said, “I am ready to do whatever it takes to develop the sport not only in Kerala but all over India. I would be more than happy if upcoming players, or coaches or even if BFI comes to be for any suggestion or anything they need help with, I will be ready with a smiling face.”
When a fan asked Murali did he like the 3*3 format of Basketball he said, “I like basketball in all forms and formats but personally speaking I am a big fan of conventional form i.e the full court.”
Murali although opined, “It is good that Basketball is being played and it is good that this new format is helping the game to grow which is good.”
Talking about his favorite moments as an Indian team member he said, “There have been so many moments but picking one of them is hard. But I would say that one thing that will remain with me is Zoran Višić, the coach of Indian men’s Basketball team, teaching where he taught how each and every player is important in Basketball before only the scorers were given the attention.”
At last, talking about the future of Basketball in India, Murali emphasized on pumping in money in the sport. “If basketball needs to grow as a sport money needs to be pumped in. Like cricketers have now become marketable entities, they are not just sportspersons anymore. It is all because of they are watched more, they get more exposure, they know what their value is. These things lack in sports like basketball. A basketball player has no clue how to make him a marketable entity and this needs to change which is only possible if money is put into the sport.”
Finally Murali took the opportunity to thank all those who supported him through the journey, “I would like to thank all my mentors my past and current teammates for all their love and support. I would also like to thank my childhood coach Joseph Thomas who took me out of a volleyball camp in school and made a basketball player out of me. Has it not been for him I would have never made this far.” said Murali.
Murali also thanked Indian Basketball Fans, “I express my gratitude towards Indian Basketball Fans as they are doing a great job in providing the players a platform for recognition and I would request to them to continue the good work they will always have me and my teammates support.”
The session was also attended by another professional basketball player and Murali’s ONGC teammate Arjun Singh who wanted to wish his captain good luck on his retirement. Arjun, who is also considered to be one of the best ball handlers in India by many said, “I have learnt a lot form Murali. Playing alongside Murali was my honour.”
The session was moderated by Lakshmikant Tiwari, founder of Indian Basketball Fans, and he concluded the session by thanking all those who attended this interactive session along with Murali Krishna Ravindran and Arjun Singh.
Indian Basketball Fans also managed to get some good wishes for Murali from some more renowned people
India Basketball captain VisheshBrighuvanshi said, “Murali bhai had a long career and that was without any injury. He played with discipline that is something to learn from him. I wish him a good luck for this new innings.”
“Murli did a splendid job as a player and was always there for his team fighting till the last moment of the game. Wish a beautiful journey ahead Murali” said Shiba Maggon, former India captain.
Indian Basketball player Pratham Singh said, “Murali has always been a source of inspiration for us youngsters and his retirement has come as a shock to us. However, I wish him all best for his future endeavors and would like to say the I always look up to him and want to one day play like him. Once again I would like to thank Murali for inspiring us.”
Trideep Rai former India Basketball Captain wished Murali a great second innings. “I wish Murali a prosperous future ahead. I also thank Murali for his services to basketball and the inspiringcareer that he has left behind for youngsters to learn. I wish him a good and healthy life in the future. Keep inspiring people wherever you go.”